SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass., June 10, 2011 — Schott North America Inc. has developed a solution for forming “square” laser diode light into a homogeneous beam of light of any desired shape. The beam shaper is made of flexible glass fibers and can be coupled directly with the laser diodes. Collimation lenses are no longer necessary. Laser diodes emit light asymmetrically. To compensate for this, the company has developed a beam shaper that consists of multicomponent glass fibers that have been fused into a rectangular input profile. Sizes of up to 15 × 1 mm are available. Coupling the laser diodes without using fast axis collimation lenses improves their performance and flexibility. The light emitted by the laser diodes can be converted into various shapes, such as a circular shape with a small diameter, and thus exhibits high laser beam quality. The existing fibers cover a numerical aperture range from 0.4 to 0.8. Transmission of 80% is possible for common lightguide lengths of up to 2000 mm. The beam shaper can withstand temperatures of approximately 150 °C. However, depending on the power density, the connectors might have to be cooled off. Due to its robust design and easy handling, the lightguide facilitates existing applications of laser diodes and improves their performance, opening the door for new applications in the industrial and medical fields.